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    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2011

    I consider myself a sleep aficionado, a champion of the art indeed but recently it has on occaision eluded me. I've stopped smoking and removed the more heinously stressful parts of my life but I still have nights where sleep takes it's god-damned time to get here.

    Anyone have any top-tips I might not have thought of? Or recommendations for not too stimulating ways to pass the time until the sandman does eventually turn up?

    I recently plowed my way through the entirety of the Venture Bros series after seeing it recommended on here so many times and oh my days it is SO GOOD. One of those rare shows that actually improves over time.
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2011 edited
    Venture Bros is amongst the best thiings ever aired on TV.


    Go for a long walk after dinner.

    Have a wank.

    Smoke some weed (or have a weed brownie if you're not wanting to start smoking again).

    Warm milk does actually help. Apparently having low calcium levels can interfere with your sleep cycle.

    Make a compilation of classical music and listen to it after lights-out. The baroque composers Bach and Pachelbel are awesome but restful.

    Mozart's Requiem Mass will blow you away.
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2011
    I'd like to resurrect #video from the last help thread.
    I, too, need a decent free software that will render still frames into video. I have several folders of time-lapse jpegs just waiting to be loved.

    I used to, in fact, use Animation Shop (which came with Paint Shop Pro, remember that?) for gif-making, and it has the ability to make avis, but there was something about the process that was really cumbersome for hi-res files.
    Apparently Adobe AfterEffects will do this sort of thing, if I can score a copy. To recap from the last thread, I think QuickTime Pro was suggested, as was GIMP. I looked at GIMP and found this:
    Also, this is apparently free software for Macs:

    Buuuut I need a Windows version. Any help?
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
    @Greasemonkey - I love futurama. It's one of my favourite things on TV.
  1.  (10224.25)
    NEW QUESTION: #90s

    Why did the 90s basically suck, culturally?
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited

    Nothing huge to fight against, I'd imagine, or at least nothing that really made it into the wider public consciousness. Culture only gets off its fat ass when counter-culture makes it do so.

    It was the beginning of the whole "let's figure out what the FUCK the 20th Century was about, okay?" thing, which was naturally going to be more boring than the thing that came before it, or would come after it (not that we knew that at the time). At least in America, things were going pretty smoothly, IN COMPARISON (I feel I need to make that every clear, as there was nasty shit in the 90's as well) to the 60's, 70's, and 80's. The country had plenty of money, joining the military wasn't likely to put you in immediate danger, crime rates weren't anything terrible dramatic (things like the Rodney King riots notwithstanding), and... well, things were just going alright, for the most part.

    So, we got a generation that grew up looking at recent history, knowing they had to be rebelling against SOMETHING, because... because that's just what American youths DO... and there was no one big ugly thing to unite the counterculture. Eventually that BECAME something to unite them all under, that general sense of uselessness and ineffectiveness, which led to a general sense of apathy.

    Now, having said all that, I'm curious about what you mean when you say "culturally." Are you talking art, media, social structure, diplomacy? Because, and this is largely just coming from having grown up in the nineties (and as someone wise once said, the music, movies, and books that came out when you learned what sex was, will be the music, movies, and books that stick with you the rest of your life), I think we got some good tunes out of that decade, and that's when nerd culture (the oldest and, at least in the Western world, the most effective of all countercultures) started to go through a few big changes for the better. But obviously you have a different take on the decade, so I want to know exactly what you mean before I expand on it.
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
    Define "suck" and, while you're at it, define "culture". Do you mean w/r/t arts & music or do you mean socio-politically? So if your definition of culture includes music, for instance, then I wouldn't be able to agree with your proposition that the 90's sucked. Unless that was just a snarky rhetorical question. =)

    New Question: #Processing Speed
    I am not much of a math person but how would I express how much faster my 2008 2.53 GHz CPU is compared to my 1995 50MHz(?) 486?
    Or at least what's the ballpark way of expressing it when conversing?
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
    #Processing Speed
    50MHz=50.000.000 cycles per second
    2.53 GHz=2.530.000.000 cycles per second

    Or you can just say your 2008 CPU is 50.6 times faster than your old one.
    I hope that's what you wanted.
  2.  (10224.29)

    By culture, my question only meant to include art! I could have included clothes / hair but I think the decade was really in line with previous norms for amounts of bad decisions -- and for diplomacy most places made out decent, not Haiti for example but more places than the previous trend

    So for art:

    Music started out pretty strong, but as someone who experienced it from the inside primarily in the rap spectrum, oye vey! Everything after 1994 was rough pickings. For the pop/rock spectrum, the decade leaves us about three albums a year that hold up. For the rest, you got that fucking glossy production, you got the consolidation of the industry and the eating of independent rock, the lack of a thing to rebel against like Alan said, the overall need for an Internet where there wasn't one, the lack of an instrument technology innovation, and so by 1997 there were actual humans who listened to OK Computer and thought "Woah this is like crazy future shit". So that's easy to explain a bit but maybe someone has a better explanation.

    But why did TV get so fucking tame? Why did it stop pushing boundaries and talk anyone out of their comfort zone? TV actually had been pretty dangerous up till then! Example: Kaufman on Letterman in a neckbrace cussing out a wrestler. Never would have happened in the 90s.

    Movies! Have you ever WATCHED a 90s movie? I contend that you can take all the existing physical and digital copies of Hollywood films of the 90s and just unexist them. You would lose ten good ones. I know Indian film lost its mojo at that time, Asia (Hong Kong) was not at its best, and yet to include new centers of work, I can't think of much from Europe then...

    So why bad things on screens?

    Comics: If the next decade of comics from right now had to repeat the quality level of one of the previous ones, which is the last one you would choose? Ok then.

    And, Cars: seriously, FUCK 90s automotive design. Do you know the new Mustang in 93 was considered a good car a the time! Uggggggggghgghggh

    Overall, it's a ton of underperformance!

    Typed on mobile
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
    happens to me ALL the goddamn time, which sucks because it only takes my partner like 5 minutes to fall asleep. Reading just before sleep, and then putting on some good drone music in the background helps me. The reading makes my eyes tired, while the drone music adds enough of an ambiance without distracting me to help me sleep. The music can be anything from like drone music to slow repetitive electronic music, classical... Just anything that can fade into the background for me.
  3.  (10224.31)

    It's an old, cliched method but I've found it's worked for me in the past. Get in a nice, comfortable pose and start consciously relaxing every part of your body, starting with your toes and working upwards. By the time you get to your head you should be drowsy enough to drop off. Theoretically :)
  4.  (10224.32)

    I find music helpful, too. I usually go to sleep with my iPhone next to my pillow playing a long playlist at minimum volume. It blocks out the house noises and background worries just enough. I also have some pretty good white noise apps (one creatively called WhiteNoise, the other called SleepMachine) that let you make mixes of background sounds to go to sleep to.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011

    Get up at 4 am every morning. Do not go back to bed, just get on with stuff. After a few days of this you'll be soundo by about 10 pm at the latest. Works for me when i'm working and the sunrises are nice. The rest is a bit crap though.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011

    Does anyone have any particular problem with taking this to its own thread? It's a discussion I'd really like to have, but that's the thing - it's turning into more of a discussion, rather than a question-and-answer(s) thing. And what's the use of having a Culturegasm category if we don't use it for just this sort of thing?
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
    @Alan I don't have a problem with that but I think it's likely to devolve into questions of personal taste. The list of amazing albums from the 90's (IMO, of course) is long and not readily dismissed. I would agree that hair, clothes and cars of the 90's suck though.
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
    I'll go to the new 90s thread to footnote my comment about TV when I have a mo. STILL - If anyone wants to take on the question of WHY the 90s was tame and stalled, I want to know! You know, sociological type stuff.


    WAS the conservative backlash just that strong that TV was shaped to be less bold than before (broadly: you can watch stuff from previous decades and be like "wow, that was pretty sharp." Watch stuff from the 90s you are like "safe town USA, check") just like happened to movies after Tarzan?

    Did AIDS in the 80s kill a lot of future good writers?

    Was CGI really just that cool?

    I was only 8 in 1990, so if there was a massive collective decision among society to just phone shit in forever and buy Walkmens, I missed that moment. If someone remembers what that moment was, I am interested
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
    NEW QUESTION: #sunrise vs sunset

    Here's one I have wondered for a while. I might google for my own answer later tonight.

    -Why do sunsets have high-constrast color gradients and generally better visuals but sunrises are muddly and green and weird? IS IT DOPPLER EFFECT?

    *edit: Mundanely enough, Wikipedia says it happens because there is more shit in the air at night! Dust and clouds -- if the air is actually clear then the sky is blue and green everywhere except right around the sun. Stupid air! Also, does this mean that we as a species have better sunsets thanks to the fossil fuels?
  5.  (10224.38)
    #SuggestSFTellyForSneak. The Middleman, especially if you like light-hearted superhero comics and anything that could be described as 'zany' if not for the fact that anyone who describes things as 'zany' ought to be shot.

    #sleeping! why has nobody suggested masturbation yet?
  6.  (10224.39)
    Greasemonkey included it as a bullet point in his proposal
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
    #sunsets I don't know for sure, but I'm almost certain it as to do with the curvature of the earth and how different wavelengths of lights get across it. This is why you get green flashes in the right conditions (they exist, I've seen one. It's just the sliver of sun as it sets turns bright green, not the whole sky flashing green). When the sun sets, red goes out first, then orange, etc, and green is last, which is why you get green flashes just before the sun finishes setting. So maybe when the sun rises the colors come in reverse order, and green appears first? Hence making everything muddy and green? It's the best explanation I can think of.